Private landlords can expect demand for rented accommodation to remain strong over the next few years, a market expert has suggested.

The housing market slowdown, the recession and the reluctance of banks and building societies to lend money have led increasing numbers of people to postpone buying plans.

Lucian Cook, director of residential research for real estate services firm Savills, predicted the trend would continue.

"We believe that owner occupation levels have peaked and will continue the decline which we have seen over the past few years,"he explained.

Among the major reasons for this is that young professionals struggle to raise the size of deposit now needed to obtain a mortgage.

With this in mind, Mr Cook advised private landlords looking to offload some of their properties to reconsider and "take a mid-term view"of both the potential offered by the rental market and house price trends.

His recommendations come after the latest edition of the Rental Index revealed that the number of houses available to rent fell last month.

Written by John WeeksADNFCR-2002-ID-19151009-ADNFCR

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